When interviewed last week, state Senator and congressional candidate Alan Nunnelee “steered clear of the specifics” when asked about his support for a “controversial GOP budget proposal to privatize social security.”

Democrats today demanded that Nunnelee stop hiding and make clear whether he stands with the Republican leadership in Washington behind this proposal.

“Why is Alan Nunnelee hiding from senior citizens? They deserve to know if he plans to support this plan to gamble hard-earned Social Security funds on the stock market,” said Jesse Ferguson, Southern Regional Press Secretary for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “It’s not a specific detail or a nuanced position to tell voters whether you support Bush-era type privatization of Social Security. It’s a yes or no question.”

The plan, introduced by ranking Republican budget committee member, Representative Paul Ryan, returns to the Bush-era concept of privatizing social security in wall street accounts. Representative Pete Sessions, chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee which has named Alan Nunnelee a contender for its Young Gun Candidate Program, supports privatizing social security.

Background

House GOP Leader supports privatizing social security. In May 2001, now NRCC Chairman Representative Pete Sessions, co-signed a letter to the President’s Commission to Strengthen Social Security urging for privatization. The letter read, “Social Security reform must offer younger workers the opportunity to improve their rates of return using personal retirement accounts.” [Rep. Jim DeMint Letter to The Social Security Reform Commission, 5/24/01]
Alan Nunnelee is a part of the National Republican Congressional Committee’s list of contenders in their Young Gun candidate program. [NRCC]

The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein writes that under House Republican Ranking Member of the Budget Committee Paul Ryan’s budget proposal reforms are “nothing short of violent. Medicare is privatized. Seniors get a voucher to buy private insurance, and the voucher’s growth is far slower than the expected growth of health-care costs. Medicaid is also privatized. The employer tax exclusion is fully eliminated, replaced by a tax credit that grows more slowly than medical costs. And beyond health care, Social Security gets guaranteed, private accounts that CBO says will actually cost more than the present arrangement, further underscoring how ancillary the program is to our budget problem.” [The Washington Post, 2/1/10; Ranking Republican of Budget Committee Paul Ryan Web site]

In 2005, President Bush went on a 60 stops in 60 days Social Security tour, following him outlining the details of his private account plan in his February State of the Union Address. [Washington Post, 4/27/05]

Had seniors been relying on private social security accounts in the Stock Market during the 2008 collapse, they might have lost nearly 40% of their retirement savings in the 12 months leading up to the collapse. On October 9, 2007 the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 14,164.53. On October 9, 2008 the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 8,579.19. [History of Dow Jones Industrial Average, http://www.mdleasing.com/djia.htm; http://finance.yahoo.com/q/hp?s=^DJI&a=09&b=9&c=2007&d=09&e=9&f=2008&g=d&z=66&y=198]

DCCC
2/23/10